Television

Canada's Nortel Networks forms JV with LG Electronics

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MUMBAI: Canadian telecom giant Nortel Networks and South Korea's LG Electronics have established a joint venture for the development of telecom equipment and networking solutions.

The agreement was signed in Seoul, South Korea by LG Electronics CEO S.S. Kim and Nortel vice chairman and CEO Bill Owens. The joint venture will be tentatively named LG-Nortel Co. Ltd. This entity will combine the telecommunication infrastructure business of LG Electronics and the distribution and service business of Nortel in South Korea.

The LG-Nortel joint venture will support the strategies of both companies for ongoing development of leading-edge wireline, optical, wireless and enterprise communications and networking solutions to ignite and power global commerce. It will also reflect the companies' commitment to leveraging best-in-class resources and expertise by joining forces with leading players in key markets, while harnessing the technology leadership of South Korea, states an official release.

Nortel will own 50 percent plus one share in the joint venture, in exchange for which Nortel will contribute its South Korean distribution and services business and pay $145 million and other non-monetary consideration. Separately, LG Electronics may be entitled to payments over a two-year period based on achievement by the joint venture of certain business goals.

LG Electronics and Nortel will nominate certain key executives to the management team of the joint venture. It is the intention of the parties to nominate JR Lee from LG Electronics to be chief executive officer and Paul House from Nortel to be chief operating officer. The LG Electronics Infrastructure business and Nortel's South Korean operations had aggregate revenues of KRW 600 billion ($530 million) in 2004, the release adds.

Closing of the transaction is subject to satisfaction of certain conditions, including regulatory and other approvals, and is anticipated by year end. J. P. Morgan advised Nortel and Lehman Brothers and Woori Securities advised LG Electronics in this transaction.

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